France call up Parra for NZ RWC15 quarter

France called up Morgan Parra and dropped Mathieu Bastareaud to the bench among three changes to their side to play New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre handed starts to Parra, centre Alexandre Dumoulin and South Africa-born flanker Bernard Le Roux for the crunch match at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

“Against New Zealand, we know that if we want to win, we need to play on the front foot,” Saint-Andre said.

“We know that if we don’t play well, we are back home on Sunday with our head on the floor.”

Parra comes in for Tillous-Borde, who misses out on the matchday 23 as South African-born Rory Kockott is named on the bench.

Tillous-Borde has started 10 of France’s past 13 Test matches, one of Saint-Andre’s key men, but was discarded for the experienced, goal-kicking Parra, himself a key player under Saint-Andre’s predecessor Marc Lievremont.

But it will be only the third time Parra has linked up with Frederic Michalak, who will retain kicking duties.

“Morgan starts – he’s a big competitor. We’ve decided to start him and we’re counting on his leadership skills, especially with the forwards,” said Saint-Andre, still smarting from last weekend’s comprehensive 24-9 defeat by Ireland.

“I expect first we get more ball than last week because the set-piece wasn’t good.

“We need more ball and to use it and play rugby. Last week, we were 70 per cent in defence and only 30 per cent in attack.”

Kockott, the coach added, was a handy “match-winner” to have on the bench, which he said had not performed as he had wanted against Ireland.

Dumoulin replaces Bastareaud in midfield, offering up greater fluidity and a decent passing game after Bastareaud’s one-dimensional crash-ball tactic was cruelly exposed in the Irish defeat.

Bastareaud is among the replacements, Le Roux moving up to take the place of Damien Chouly on the openside and Yannick Nyanga named as cover in a more dynamic option.

There is no specialist lock among the eight replacements, hooker Dimitri Szarzewski taking the place of Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty and Nicolas Mas providing extra front-row cover, with Chouly replacing Alexandre Flanquart.

Captain Thierry Dusautoir in the back row is one of four survivors of the starting team that lost 8-7 to New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup final.


Scott Spedding; Noa Nakaitaci, Alexandre Dumoulin, Wesley Fofana, Brice Dulin; Frederic Michalak, Morgan Parra; Louis Picamoles, Bernard Le Roux, Thierry Dusautoir (capt); Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape; Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado, Eddy Ben Arous. Res: Dimitri Szarzewski, Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas, Damien Chouly, Yannick Nyanga, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!